ASCA and 12-Step Programs
As mentioned above, ASCA is a recovery program based on psychological concepts of recovery. While many ideas represented in 12-Step programs may be valuable for survivors of child abuse, some are not. In particular, many survivors have difficulty with the idea of "surrendering to a higher power." The challenge for many survivors is to find the power to change within oneself, not in an outside source. This is related to the fact that, for most survivors, the source of power and control was always located outside of themselves, in their parent or other abuser. To find the power to change from within is to break old, persistent patterns.

Some survivors also have problems with some 12-Step programs' recurring themes of forgiveness, blame and misplaced responsibility. 12-Step programs start with the belief that the individual has committed wrongs, is responsible for those wrongs and must make amends to others for those wrongs. These beliefs are not particularly applicable to survivors of child abuse. Adult survivors were abused as children. As children, they had no control or choice over the abuse, and it was not their fault that the abuse occurred. The abuse was the doing of another person (or persons), and many adult survivors do not feel that they should make amends for behavior that was not their responsibility and over which they had no control. It is for these reasons, among others, that THE MORRIS CENTER believes that ASCA's psychological approach is more suitable for recovery from child abuse.

However, this does not mean that ASCA is opposed to 12-Step programs. One of ASCA's principles is a policy of "addition, not competition," with respect to 12-Step programs, and we do not compete with 12-Step programs for your participation. We believe that 12-Step groups are extremely useful and appropriate for persons facing addictions and attempting to live clean and sober lives. ASCA is deeply grateful to Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12-Step programs as the godparents of the recovery movement. Without them, there would be no ASCA but we view ourselves as a separate program for a separate problem.

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Survivor to Thriver, Page 8
© 2007 THE MORRIS CENTER, Revised 11/06